June 26th, 2008
02:15 PM ET

Megan Touma: What we know now

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/06/26/art.vert.megan.touma.jpg caption="This undated photo, supplied by the U.S. Army, shows Spc. Megan Lynn Touma, 23, whose body was found Saturday morning, June 21, 2008, in a Fayetteville, N.C., motel room." width=292 height=320]

Editor's Note: watch Randi’s report tonight on 360°

Randi Kaye | BIO
360° Correspondent

We are still here in Fayetteville, North Carolina, digging deeper on the death of that 23-year-old pregnant soldier from Fort Bragg. It’s quite a mystery, and today, so many questions about how her absence on the base was handled. The Army says it is investigating Specialist Megan Touma’s unit to see if proper procedures were followed.

Here’s what we know: Megan Touma, who was 7 months pregnant, had requested to be based at Fort Bragg back in February. She arrived here in Fayetteville on June 12 and the Army says she checked in at base at about 2am.

That same day she showed up for roll call at about 3:15pm. That was the last time anyone on the base heard from her or saw her.

Friday, June 13, through Sunday, June 15, was a holiday on base so no requirements, but on Monday, June 16, the Army says Touma didn’t show up for roll call.

On Tuesday, June 17, she should’ve been declared AWOL per Army policy but she wasn’t... Nor was she on June 18, 19, 20, or 21.

Her body was found on June 21 at a hotel in Fayetteville not far from the base. We learned she was supposed to check out that morning but never had the chance. No wonder her body was badly decomposed. It’s possible, given the timeline, she could’ve been dead since late in the day June 12... nine days before she was found.

Why wasn’t Touma declared AWOL? We hope to have some answers for you tonight on AC360.

Also, we went by the local court and picked up some documents which offer some surprising new details about how Touma was found and the condition of her hotel room.

You’ll get all the details on 360 tonight at 10p ET but we did learn her body was found in the bathtub by a hotel maintenance man. The “Do Not Disturb” sign had been on the door for four days.

A few pieces of furniture in the room were askew but it’s not clear if there was a struggle. Apparently the maintenance worker called 911 but the police won’t release the tape of the 911 call to us, saying it will hamper the investigation.

Makes me wonder what is on that 911 call that they don’t want us to know. What did the maintenance worker tell police on the phone? Must be a pretty good clue to this mystery.

Filed under: Crime & Punishment • Randi Kaye
soundoff (10 Responses)
  1. Christina E

    I'm a native of Fayetteville, Nc... and the hotel they found her at is ALWAYS packed with people and it's right next door to our (only) mall along our busiest road.. That area has people around at all hours.. SOMEONE had to have seen or heard something..They just haven't realized it yet.. :0/

    June 27, 2008 at 9:56 am |
  2. Annie Kate

    I don't understand how her body took so long to discover in a hotel with maid service. Even with a Do Not Disturb sign on the door the maids should have smelled something and talked to the head housekeeper about it. I read that her body was so decomposed they had to use dental records to identify her – if that is true there should have been a bad odor days before it was investigated.

    Annie Kate
    Birmingham AL

    June 26, 2008 at 9:29 pm |
  3. Sabrina in Los Angeles


    This raises a lot of questions.

    Did the maid service attend to the room before than and not find anything wrong?

    Did her ex-husband or the babies daddy show up and fight with her?

    Did they do something even worse and that is why she was in the tub to contain it? and is that why they won't release the tape?

    Why didn't the hotel staff go in after 2 days with the "Do Not Disturb" sign or at least ring the room?

    June 26, 2008 at 6:43 pm |
  4. Dave

    Many times personnel who are marrried, have, kids, or are pregnant are given a pass to look for housing off post. They sign in, show up once or twice, and then are released for 7 to 10 days during which time they do not have to show up.

    June 26, 2008 at 4:51 pm |
  5. JT from Jackson TN

    After she does not show up for roll call the first day, you would think as strict as the Army is they would look her up but after almost a week and nobody is looking for this lady, they find her dead in an off base hotel, sound like there's more to this story than what we are being told. It's sad they can go back and forth to Iraq and survive but, get killed right here in the U.S. like this

    June 26, 2008 at 4:44 pm |
  6. ANGIE

    something very fishy there maybe she knew things that others didnt want us to know hmmm fishy i say

    June 26, 2008 at 4:08 pm |
  7. Janna

    One of the first things that used to come to mind when you'd speak of the military was strict structure. I guess that must be the 'old school' way of thinking... Two highly publicised cases of the disinterest of the military to even notice someone is missing (let alone take care of its own) has me even more concerned for the safety of our nation's heroes!
    I urge anyone who, like myself, has a loved one in the service, to keep close tabs on them. Family and friends are apparently the only ones looking out for them...

    June 26, 2008 at 3:39 pm |
  8. teresa, oh

    There must have been some surveillance footage, room phone records, etc. I wonder who exactly was the last person to see her alive? I'm sure the authorities will get to the bottom of this when someone calls in an anonymous tip. Most crimes dont get solved by
    cops/ detectives, they get solved by a guilty concious & phone call.

    On proper procedures being followed, as in the Marie Lauderbach case, does the army have to do an investigation first? Just to give a potential fellow army-man/woman some time to get out of the country?

    My condolences to family, friends and coworkers. Megan looks like a lovely girl with alot of good things going for her. Some people cant stand to see other people succeed.

    June 26, 2008 at 3:34 pm |
  9. Lilibeth

    Let’s see…proper procedures weren’t followed, she wasn’t declared AWOL, police won’t release tapes of the 911 call, and authorities want the hotel manager to keep quiet. It sounds very fishy to me, like they’re trying to hide something. At this point, an independent party or the feds should be involved, or we’ll never get to the bottom of this.

    Edmonds, Washington

    June 26, 2008 at 2:49 pm |
  10. Cindy

    Thanks for the update! The a skewed furniture, the 911 call not being released and the "Do Not Disturb" sign found on the door really has all the signs of a murder to me! Now you have me wondering even more. I'll definitely be checking out your report to see what else you have found.


    June 26, 2008 at 2:26 pm |